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Maiden, Mother and Crone - and what you can learn from each archetype

Changes, divination, feeling, mediation, moodLisette Fee

As a mother I've entered a completely new and life altering stage in my life and it didn't really dawn on me until I reflected on the fact that I have a new title.  And I also reflected that my own mother is in the crone stage.  Several of my friends are in the mother stage as well despite not having biological children they are very maternal and I look to them for guidance.

The maiden, Brigid, young, alive and naive.  Photo by Aileen Devlin.

The maiden, Brigid, young, alive and naive.  Photo by Aileen Devlin.

This really had the wheels in my head turning when thinking how many of us can benefit from understanding these roles and how throughout our entire lives we need the wisdom and lessons from each archetype.  And especially as women we're often pigeonholed to remain static - that you shouldn't have long hair when you're older, or it's not proper to have gray hair when you're younger etc.  

So let's go over what each of these roles mean and the lessons we learn in each of them.

Maiden: By word association we can go by - youth, enchantment, excitement, carefree and erotic.  She is represented in several mythologies in the Greek myths she's Persephone - purity - and a representation of new beginnings. Other maiden goddesses include: Brigid, Nimue, among others. 
What we learn from the Maiden - When we are weary, over worked or the feeling of disparity enter our minds we can remind ourselves that everyday is a new beginning, every year we can start over and allow the maiden mind frame to give us the time to wipe the slate clean.  In addition, there is a strength in being naive and unburdened by the toils of life.  You look at life with a new perspective.  This is what I love about my younger girlfriends, their zest for life!

Mother: She is the caregiver, nurturer, loving, ripeness, fertility, fulfillment, stability, and power.  The Mother Goddess in Greek mythology is Demeter, representing wellspring of life, giving and compassionate. Other mother goddesses include: Aa, Ambika, Ceres, Astarte, Lakshmi.
What we learn from the Mother aspect:  To nurture and care for a project, another life, even our animal and plant babies we find that we learn so much in ourselves.  A sense of passing on wisdom, education, pride and fulfillment.  We also learn a great deal of patience and the lesson of giving immensely.  Oh and one major aspect is protectiveness and a very fierce love.

Crone:  Wisdom, clarity, insight, repose, compassion and knowledge.  The Crone in Greek mythology is Hecate - wise, knowing, a culmination of a lifetime of experience. Crone goddesses include: Hel, Maman Brigitte, Oya, Sedna, Skuld, and others.
What we learn from the Crone aspect:  What I find most insightful from the Crone is letting go, that death is only the beginning and we must embrace the change and pain.  And she is often what we do not want to confront and accept.  We only gain wisdom through our experiences whether they be good or bad.  I'd also say that I ADORE the crones in my life, the women that teach me how to love myself and how to take time and learn. 

We receive so many blessings from each aspect of the trinity. 

We receive so many blessings from each aspect of the trinity. 

 

I hope that you enjoyed this post and that it gives you pause for thought in the areas of your life that the triple goddess can guide and assist you. 

More thoughts on the triple goddess:

These aspects may also represent the cycle of birth, life and death (and rebirth). Neopagans believe that this goddess is the personification of all women everywhere.

Followers of the Wiccan, Dianic, and Neopagan religions, as well as some archeologists and mythographers, believe that long before the coming of the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the Triple Goddess embodied the three-fold aspect of Gaia, the Earth Mother (Roman Magna Mater). A mother goddess was worshipped under a variety of names not only in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean and Anatolia, but also in pre-Islamic Arabia.

Neopagans also claim historical antecedent for their beliefs, holding that in Old Europe, in the Aegean world, and in the most ancient Near East, the Triple Goddess preceded the coming of nomadic speakers of Indo-European languages.

In South Arabia the moon-god Hubal was accompanied by the three goddesses: Uzza the youngest, Al-Lat "The Goddess" and Manat the Crone, the three cranes.

Wiccans often work with the Goddess in her triple form but may sometimes look at a particular goddess as Maiden, Mother and Crone even when there is no historical proof of this. An example of this would be the goddess Hecate, who was originally depicted as three maidens when in triplicate or as an old woman by herself in later times. Another example is the goddess Morrigan.

Another cross-cultural archetype is the three goddesses of Fate. In Greek Mythology they are the Moirai; in Norse mythology they are the Norns. The Weird Sisters of Shakespeare's Macbeth and Wyrd Sisters of Terry Pratchett's novel of the same name are believed to be inspired by these Fates. The three supernatural female figures called variously the Ladies, Mother of the Camenae, the Kindly Ones, and a number of other different names in The Sandman graphic novels by Neil Gaiman play self-consciously on both the triple Fates and the Maiden-Mother-Crone goddess archetypes." -via Crystalinks